Is our collective vision one of increased fast food outlets, more time spent in front of TV screens playing video games and a general decline in physical activity? For those who entered the world in the 70’s or before childhood memories largely revolve around simple outdoor games, which provided entertainment for hours. Quite a contrast of the current day child whose lives seem to be awash with technology that keeps them firmly pinned to the couch and sees them aggressively bombarded with advertising campaigns from the world’s most aggressive fast food chains.
In the early 90’s with the exception of some countries there was almost a global enforcement of a legal age of circa 16 that was imposed for the legal purchase of tobacco. This is coupled with pre existing laws with varying dates stipulating ages at which governments believe it is a suitable age for the public to purchase and consume alcohol.
On a local level I can not help but notice the increased volume of fast food billboards spread across the region, the vast numbers of adolescences that litter food courts in malls and the general feeling that a smart phone valued at $1,000 sells in a 10-1 ratio than that of a football valued at just $10. The increased levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes in our region is alarming to some but with the media environment that we are witnessing right now it should come as no surprise. As consumers both young and old we are playing into the hands of these companies and consuming everything they throw at us. One can only imagine the reaction if there was a legal age to purchase fast food of say 18!!! Well why shouldn’t there be?
If it wasn’t apparent before this small summary surely makes it clear that there needs to be action, but in a world where being a “cool kid” gets you popularity and the definition of “cool” is every changing, what can we all do for the adults of the future to help them mold a world that we can all be proud of.
Lets not over complicate things and stick to a 3 step approach.
Education, education, education is often the sales pitch of politicians the world over as they fight for leadership of their country. Why? Because children don’t know what’s good and bad, they need to be taught, so teach them well, teach them the right things and make it simple, simple, simple. Healthy food and increased activity! Stick with those two ingredients and its hard to go wrong.
And finally get the kids active, enroll them into as many sports and physical activities as time will allow, train them to believe that activity is the norm, at the end of the day humans were designed to move!